Repression by Manuel Castells

The success or failure of the 1st October depends on the importance it has at international level and even more, on the information that Europeans reach about. For this reason today I have decided to translate an interesting article published in La Vanguardia, by  Manuel Castells.
Obviously my English is not the best,f its author had written it in English, now I would be talking about something else. But, I think this is one of those essential articles to understand what is happening in Catalonia and Spain, far from radicalism. For this reason, I have translated it, the best I have known. I beg your pardon in advance


by Manuel Castells

link to the original article

After all, there was no negotiation, no glimmer of it. Pure and hard repression. Judicialized and personalized, as in the modern authoritarian regimes that cover their shame with the vine leaves of the courts. And on a scale never seen in contemporary Europe, threatening hundreds of elected officials and, potentially, thousands of people if concrete generalized intimidation to volunteers registered to help the referendum. Let us remember that it is not a matter of repressing the independence of Catalonia, but simply holding a consultation in which citizens can freely vote on their country project. This is not a trivial distinction since, according to reliable surveys, less than half of the Catalans would be in favor of independence while three quarters of the population support the right to decide. It is difficult to understand, under these conditions, the obstinacy of the PP and its government in blocking any movement that implies a free and guaranteed vote.

They reproached the Government for not having guarantees for that referendum. How are they going to be if they do not give legal scope for their preparation? If one followed the example of truly democratic countries such as the United Kingdom with Scotland or Canada with Quebec, independence would lose the referendum and from that there would be a reasonable negotiation for greater autonomy for the more dynamic nation (alidad) of the Spanish State. But watch out, because the PP / Citizens is a machine to create independence supporter, and if they continue humiliating and provoking in a while the confrontation will be even more bitter and the clamor for independence can be irrepressible.

And yet, I miss it wrong. As has always been the history of Spain, an autocratic state throughout the centuries. With the brief interregnum of a Republic immediately assaulted by the demons of imperial nostalgia. And finally, with the transition to a democratic transition that gave way to a probation and conditional release for those who did not communize with monarchical unitary Spain, despite Article 2 of the Constitution. And here we are again, in a confrontation aggravated by the internal fracture of Catalan society, after a process disastrously managed by the Spanish state and Catalan nationalism. Although the stronger always have greater responsibility in disasters.

The repressive strategy designed since Moncloa, long ago, is intended astute. Instead of intervening institutions of self-government, people are repressed. Using prosecutors addicts, judges and Mossos (as long as you can) to interrogate, arrest, prosecute, fine, confiscate assets and if applicable, pre-trial jail and conviction. Thus dead the dogs, (reference to the Spanish expression “dead the dog, dead the rage”) even if they are hundreds or thousands, dead the rauxa  (Catalan expression that describes: impetus, courage, bravery. with a point of apparent irrationality) . Brilliant, they think. We will not remove the tanks, but we will neutralize the leaders and the others will enter the fold. And if not, worse for them  because from here there is no other exit than the rule of the law. A Spanish law that precisely millions of Catalans, not four agitators, refuse.

Back to the politics of fear that has dominated our history. Taking advantage of the corruption of the Catalan presidential party (not superior to the PP), the clumsiness of the debate in the Parliament and the mistakes of strategy in the fragile coalition for independence. All seems to indicate, Rajoy thinks, that without excessive cost of national and international public opinion, could be extirpated Catalan independence for some time and win the election as a champion of Spain, large and free. But it will not be that easy. In fact, we have entered into a protracted, far-reaching conflict. First, indiscriminate repression will generate solidarity movements in the population and in politics. Beginning with the first and decisive agreement with the charismatic Ada Colau that seems to have found the formula to make possible the voting in Barcelona without transgressing legal forms that put in danger to officials and institution. What is more, many undecided citizens, generally left-wing voters, are likely to step forward in the face of growing indignation over the violation of political rights that concern us all. It is no longer about independence, but about dignity.

Who is Manuel Castells

Other articles by Manuel Castells


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